Name of this plant?

Sorry I don't have a picture, but does anyone know the name of the plant that has bright red stalk this time of year, fruit that are black in color in the shape of a grape hyacinth, and a root that is thick and white almost like a parsnip? I am in Central MA and this plant grows wild on my property line in shade.
Thanks for any information,
Gary
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Pokeberry or Poke Salad
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Phytolacca americana, Poke weed.
"Howie Feltersnatch" <'> wrote in message

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sounds like pokeberry. don't think its edible.
wrote:

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fran wrote:

It is edible. That's why it's sometimes know as poke salad.
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The young shoots are a traditional early spring green. They should be boiled in several changes of water. There are old farmers around here that still gather it and bring it to market, and I've prepared and eaten it several times. It was tasty, along the lines of asparagus.
HOWEVER, lately I've read that, along with sassafras and comfrey, new research puts poke in the category of potentially toxic. And the mature plant, and berries, are definitely not recommended.
I still think it's a very attractive plant, especially when the berries are ripe, and when it's growing along the wayside. I weed it out of the garden, but the habits of birds being what they are, there's always some around.
Cheers, Sue
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Just barely. If it's just a little too old, it's also a fierce laxative.
My grandmother told of going to a one-room school in a community where poke salet was popular. Kids who had eaten this stuff were seated together in a far corner, because the others couldn't stand the smell.
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Chris Green

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Christopher Green said:

You sure she wasn't confusing it with that *other* wild spring green, ramps? Beause I know that ramps (a wild onion or leek, Allium tricocum) will make you but I've don't remember ever hearing about reeking from poke salet.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/StratfordLandingES/Ecology/mpages/pokeweed.htm
Christopher Green wrote:

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http://www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/newspaper/june21b02.html
The above site explains why it's probably not a good idea to eat poke salad, even though thousands have done it and lived. It does appear that the knowledgable people in the past at least understood that it was vital to eat the shoots only when very young, and only when boiled thoroughly, the water discarded and boiled some more. That being said, we consume a lot of plants which have trace amounts of natural toxins - including peanuts and potatoes - and in much larger quantities than most of us will ever consume poke salad.
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Poison control says it's poisonous to eat the berries.
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